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St. Thomas, Apostle

In Syriac his name means ‘twin’; he is also called by the Greek equivalent, ‘Didymus.’ Poor Thomas! He made one remark and has been branded as “Doubting Thomas” ever since. But if he doubted, he also believed.

St. Thomas, Apostle

In Syriac his name means ‘twin’; he is also called by the Greek equivalent, ‘Didymus.’ Poor Thomas! He made one remark and has been branded as “Doubting Thomas” ever since. But if he doubted, he also believed. He made what is certainly the most explicit statement of faith in the New Testament: “My Lord and My God!” and, in so expressing his faith, gave Christians a prayer that will be said till the end of time. He also occasioned a compliment from Jesus to all later Christians: “Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed” (John 20:29).

Thomas should be equally well-known for his courage. Perhaps what he said was impetuous but he can scarcely have been insincere when he said to the other apostles, “Let us also go to die with him” (John 11:16b).

After the death of Lazarus he said this in Bethany which was near Jerusalem, this meant walking into the enemies to almost certain death. True to what he said he came to India in AD 52 and was martyred in Tamil Nadu and became the unquestionable Apostle of India paving the way for the birth of different Christian traditions in Kerala where he landed at Kodungalloor. July third is a solemn feast for the whole Catholic Church of India.

Malayattoor in Kerala is the most famous pilgrimage centre and every first Sunday after Easter, a big crowd of devotees climb the mountain chanting his name in the local Malayalam language “Ponnin Kurisu Muthappa” (Golden Cross Patriarch).

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